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Skype Fails and Other Tails of VoIP Woes

The Registrar is reporting that el Skypo has fixed a problem with its SkypeIn service over in the motherland, the UK. Apparently users complained that the SkypeIn service was down for a week. The outage was particularly frustrating because Skype...

The Registrar is reporting that el Skypo has fixed a problem with its SkypeIn service over in the motherland, the UK. Apparently users complained that the SkypeIn service was down for a week. The outage was particularly frustrating because Skype seemed to have bungled the customer interaction bit. The company provided no explanation as to the reasons for the outage and didn't even return the Registrar's calls. Maybe it's because Skype press folk are too busy explaining away those racketeering charges . The problems with VoIP services though are nothing new. Sitting in Jerusalem, I'm one of Vonage's worst nightmares. Typically, US-based Vonage calls travel on the Internet for only a short period time. Local carriers partnering with Vonage switch the call onto the PSTN and terminate it at the destination. On the other hand, yours truly has the unfortunate experience of seeing his calls traverse the Atlantic on the Internet. All of which means that I get to see all the warts of a VoIP service.

I can't tell you how many times calls drop in the middle of a conversation for seemingly no reason. I've accepted the fact that people will tell me how my voice will cut in and out during phone calls, or that my voice quality is just rotten (probably because of that download or large page refresh running in the background).

My favorite though was when Vonage dropped me into someone else's call. Hey, there are no crossed wires in the PSTN! Yet, I could hear them clear enough without them hearing me. No wonder I kept my local phone number.

Now if we had tiered Internet services none of this would be a problem???

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